More electric vehicles in retail are on the horizon

Electric avenue: Tesco expands its electric vehicle fleet

Tesco has announced it is taking new action to help reduce its carbon emissions, including growing its electric vehicle fleet.

According to the UK’s largest retailer, it has put 30 electric delivery vans on the road in Greater London in November to date, and it plans to have a solely electric vehicle fleet for its home delivery business by 2028.

Like other supermarket chains, Tesco is also supporting wider adoption of electric vehicles across the nation by rolling out charging points at its sites. Some 2,400 charging points are to be placed at 600 stores, with 400 stores due to be fitted with the chargers by the end of this year.

By the time the programme has concluded, Tesco promises to have boosted the UK’s electric charging network by 14%.

Meanwhile, the grocer is also launching a new partnership with renewable energy investor, Low Carbon, which will result in the development of three new solar farms in the UK. Based in Essex, Anglesey and Oxfordshire, the sites are expected to generate up to 130GWh of energy per year and are part of Tesco’s aim to use 100% renewable electricity across its group by 2030.

Tesco already announced in 2019 it would begin sourcing renewable energy from five onshore windfarms, and it is in the process of fitting thousands of solar panels across its UK store network, with 60 stores fitted out to date.

The supermarket group said the new initiatives, which target the biggest sources of UK emissions, will put it on course for net zero in its UK operations for 2035 – 15 years ahead of the UK government’s current deadline. Tesco said it is also helping suppliers make their own carbon reduction commitments, in line with the Paris Agreement goals.

Jason Tarry, Tesco UK and Republic of Ireland CEO, remarked: “In 12 months’ time, the UK will host the most critical climate change summit of the decade, known as COP26.

“At Tesco we want to play our part. That’s why we’ve brought forward our ambition to reach net zero in our UK operations by 15 years and made a series of new commitments to help us achieve that target, including reaching a new milestone today in our journey to using 100% renewable energy by 2030.”

Tanya Steele, CEO of conservation organisation WWF UK, which Tesco has partnered with to help it reduce its impact on the environment, said: “Renewable energy and electric vehicles are essential ingredients for the economic recovery we want to see in the UK.”

Roy Bedlow, CEO and founder of Low Carbon, added: “Renewable energy generation at scale is central to Low Carbon’s business model and is a critical element in the fight against climate change.”

[Image credit: Tesco]

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